Is Careem's Remote First Strategy a Sign of Things to Come?

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Dubai-based ride-hailing platform Careem has announced it will adopt a remote-first workplace policy. This makes Careem it among the first Middle East-based companies to adopt this policy, a direct result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.


According to Menabytes, Careem (a division of Uber) is giving workers at 36 offices throughout the Middle East region the option to work from home on a permanent basis. Those who prefer an office environment will be given that option. 

A key factor in Careem's decision was an internal poll showing that only 10% of the company's employees wanted to return to the office full time. 


This is what Careem Co-founded and CEO Mudassir Sheikha said in a 24 September Twitter post. "Excited to announce @careem is going Remote-First! We believe it is the #FutureOfWork, good for business and more flexible for colleagues. We look forward to continue [sic] our learning journey and plant the seeds for our region to embrace it.”

 

Many Silicon Valley companies have embraced remote work, generally following a hybrid model involving a choice between the office and work from home.

 

One recent example is Google. The global search giant's CEO, Sundar Pichai, recently announced plans for a permanent office/WFH hybrid model. Again, a company survey seems to have played a role in the decision. In a July employee survey, 62% said they wanted to come to work on "some days." Only 8% said they wanted to come in every day. Another 10% said they never want to come to the office.

 

A recent report from the North American local digital commerce association Localogy, "Remote Work and the Local Commerce Ecosystem," goes into more detail on how digital services providers, agencies, and small businesses are approaching the work from home challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.



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